Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles on what it means to be a man after God’s heart. This article focuses on our call to be men after God’s heart. Future articles will take a closer look at the Scriptures on this topic and on a daily plan for becoming men after God’s heart.Called to be a Man After God’s Heart
Many Scripture passages give us a glimpse into the heart of God, and the things that are important to him. When Jesus stood up in the synagogue at Nazareth, he read the following Scripture from the book of Isaiah (61:1-2) and went on to say that they were fulfilled in him.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore, he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord (Luke 4:18-19).
In the book of Matthew, we hear these words of Jesus as he explains what will happen at his second coming:
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:34-36).
As it was for Jesus, so it is for us. It should be clear from Scriptures like these that you too are called to be a man after God’s heart. Do you believe that as a man after God’s heart that you are called to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to those who are hurting and in prison, to feed and clothe the poor, and to comfort the lonely? Do you believe that you are called to be Christ’s presence in the world today, and that through your touch and your words, many will come to know and experience Jesus’ great love and many brokenhearted people may be restored?
In seeking to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, it is important to remember that he is after our hearts – not a list of human achievements. He knows our potential when we trust him and seek him with all our hearts. He knows that if we are set on loving him with all our hearts and repenting swiftly whenever we fall, our actions will naturally begin to reflect his Father’s heart. He knows also that this is not something we achieve by human strength alone, but by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us.
We come to know God’s heart also through reading his word in Scripture, through meeting him in the sacraments, through appreciating his creation, through serving others, and through spending time with him in prayer. Whenever we pray, we are putting ourselves in Jesus’ presence, and he is delighted to reveal his will and call for our lives, and give us the grace to carry it out. It is in prayer that we have the privilege of growing in a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus. When we seek him in this way, we can’t help but come in touch with the love in his heart and be transformed more and more into his image and likeness. We will then begin to long for what he longs for. We will begin to take him at his word and trust him in all things. We will grow in confidence that we can really be men after God’s heart, because Christ is in us.
So let’s keep turning to Jesus for healing, transformation, and illumination. Let’s keep trying to follow his Spirit’s promptings. In his great love, Jesus will transform our hearts so that we begin to do the things that pleases his Father. Our Heavenly Father loves when we seek his will, rather than just our own way. As we keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking, we will find ourselves asking for the things most important to God. We will find ourselves becoming more and more like Jesus, and we will truly become men after God’s heart.
Father, I ask for more of your Spirit and your grace, so I will seek after the things of your heart as Jesus did. I am so grateful that you have chosen to teach me your ways. Jesus, I give my life to you. Take it and make it like yours, so that I might bring your love and your Gospel to others.
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Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
1. What is your reaction to God’s call to you to be a man after his heart? Do you think this is even possible? Why or why not?
2. The article says that being a man after God’s heart “is not something we achieve by human strength alone, but by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us.” Why is this so?
3. Do you believe that being a man after God’s heart is more than just trying harder or doing good deeds? Why? What is the difference between doing good things versus doing godly things?
4. Can you identify any obstacles in your life that can get in the way of your being a man after God’s heart?
5. In your daily life, what are some steps you can take that will help you to choose godly things over non-godly things?
6. At the end of your meeting pray for one another that each of you receive the grace and the power to be men after God’s heart. Use the prayer at the end of this article as the starting point.